Celebrating the Rat Pack at the 21st Annual Capital Club Sinatra Soiree

July 19, 2013

Since 2007, I’ve been a regular attendee of Sinatra Soiree, one of the premiere summer parties in Washington, DC.  This year marked the 21st anniversary of the event, hosted by the Capital Club of Washington and I wasn’t going to miss it.

Held at the National Building Museum, the event drew a large crowd of Washington’s young professionals, who wore their colorful Nantucket inspired ensembles to dance the night away to renditions of Rat Pack songs by the brass and woodwind band Swing Machine.

Nabbing the “Best Parties of 2011” by Washingtonian Magazine, Sinatra Soiree drew a crowd of more than 900 guests.  That is a lot of bottles of Titos vodka, the official sponsor, and Red Bull to make the unofficial drink of the preppy DC set, the RBV (Red Bull Vodka).

Georgetown regulars like Katherine Kennedy and fiance Grant Allen, Capital Club president Fritz Brogan and girlfriend Brooke Henderson, Win Huffman, businessman Chip Dent, Justin Lange, Guest of a Guest editor Sophie Pyle joined Capitol Hill staffers, summer interns and other guests for a party that didn’t end until 1am.

As beloved as this event is, most attendees do not know of its origins.  I asked Capital Club president Fritz Brogan to give us the inside scoop on Sinatra and what makes it such a must attend event in the summer.

Capital Club Members Otis Ofori, Fritz Brogan and Andrew Mills.

What sets Sinatra Soirée apart from DC’s summer parties?

Several things set Sinatra apart. Sinatra is a legendary party that attracts interns who have been in D.C for days and natives who have been here for decades. National Building Museum is a stunning venue and backdrop. The party features great tunes, strong cocktails, and in a society that is becoming increasingly casual, it’s nice to see people trade in their rainbows for formal attire.

Aside from the fun, it’s important to remember that we are a charitable organization that donates proceeds to great causes, like the Lefler Scholarship we helped endow.

In its 21st year, how has Sinatra Soirée evolved?

This party started when I was seven! It started as a small group of friends celebrating the Rat Pack tunes they loved in a hotel ballroom. It has grown through the years and changed as times did. Unlike many events in D.C, all Capital Club parties are strictly bi-partisan and anyone discussing ObamaCare or the ’16 race is in danger of a cold RBV being dumped on their head.

We welcome everyone from all political backgrounds. During the Clinton Administration, CC President and Clinton WH adviser Tripp Donnelly added a saxophone to the mix while Republican lobbyist/CC President Mat Lapinski gave the party a country music feel during the Bush years.

In your opinion what is the appropriate dressing for the gents? Ladies?

Everyone has their own interpretation of Sinatra wear, from Nantucket Red’s from Murray’s in ACK to traditional suits with skinny ties. We have no dress code, but anyone wearing shorts or jeans will find themselves pointed in the direction of the nearby Green Turtle

You added a DJ this year.  Who is he/she and why did you decide to include?

We have added the Trophy Brothers to the mix this year. When not dominating the lacrosse fields in their free time, they are establishing a reputation for holding down dance floors all over the city, from the recent Red, White, and Boom to weekend nights at Mason Inn and George. Their mixes of Avicci set to My way will be a great addition to our wonderful band, Swing Town featuring Jason Curtis.

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